Jason Lesmeister moved to Alaska at the age of 21 to be a fishing and hunting guide. 26 years later he’s still there and is one of the busiest guides on the Kenai Peninsula.
In his own words:
“I call Cooper Landing, AK home now. Not only is the Kenai Peninsula my office, it’s my playground as well. I don’t just work on the Kenai River, it’s my backyard.
Being a year round professional guide and living in my guide area gives me an edge. Because guiding is my livelihood I believe in protecting our resources.
I run an eco-friendly guide service and believe it is important to make as small a footprint as possible so we can enjoy our rivers and lakes forever. My beliefs in protecting our resources are put into practice daily on my guided trips.
Jason’s Guide Service practices catch and release on all native rainbow trout while Dolly Varden, char and salmon can be caught for both sport and retention.
When I’m not fishing for work (guiding), I’m fishing on my off time for pleasure and to keep my finger on the pulse for when I am working. I have a few simple philosophies about fishing and guiding. “Control the controllable’s” are words I live by.
Because of my convictions, I will give you the best gear to fish with. On my guided trips you will be using Gore-Tex breathable waders.
My rods, both fly and spinning, are G-Loomis. My fly reels are Lamson, my spinning reels are Shimano and I also use the best lines money can buy. Royal Wulff fly lines, Power Pro and Sunline’s FC Super Sniper fluorocarbon for spinning reels.
I will not give anyone any gear that I wouldn’t fish with myself, and I like the best.
Having the best equipment doesn’t always make you the best fishermen, but it’s a lot more fun to fish the good stuff, and easier to learn on quality gear. I don’t think you should have to fish average equipment when on a guided trip, you deserve the best and my gear is the best.
All of my fishing trips are done out of a 20-foot Willie Drift Boat. The drift boat is a motor-less boat designed to fish on the drift. Fishing drift-only is a more peaceful and environmentally friendly way to fish.
Fishing on the drift gives you a quiet trip down the river where you flow with the currents fishing the long drift or working smaller features. The drift boat is designed to run in currents and is an ideal way to fish without spooking the fish, or creating bank damage from wakes.
We don’t emit any carbon pollutants into the water, or create any noise pollution. Fishing the Kenai River out of a drift boat is a great way to get lost in the drift waiting for that huge take to happen and the battle to begin.
Everyone who has ever dreamed of coming to Alaska has dreamed of that moment; only it’s better in a drift boat.”
The Kenai River is a complex system and the fishery can take many years to comprehend. If you’re shopping for a fly fishing guide Jason Lesmeister is an excellent choice for your Kenai River fishing experience.
Lesmeister has fished the Kenai River for 20 plus years and has guided it the last 12 years for salmon and trout fishing. His background regarding the Kenai River resource as well as his knowledge and understanding of the salmon fishing and trout fishing on this amazing waterway will ensure your Alaskan fishing trip will create memories that will last a lifetime.
Experience is key when fishing the Kenai River so make sure you choose fishing guides that have the background, knowledge and understanding necessary to ensure a productive Alaskan fishing adventure. You will get that with Jason Lesmeister.
Check out our Braggin’ Board to see the awesome fish we are catching!
About The Waters We Fish
The Kenai River is a world class Rainbow trout fishery, with fish exceeding 36 inches and 20 pounds. Rainbow fishing on the Kenai River is good all year long with the prime months for huge trophy rainbow trout being from the third week of August through October.
The Kenai River is broken down into three sections, the Upper, Middle and Lower Kenai River. Jason’s Guide Service fishes the Upper and Middle stretch of the Kenai River.
The Upper Kenai starts on Alaska State Parks Land and traditions into Chugach State Forest, before you enter the KNWR, where Jason’s Guide Service has a competitive use permit which makes him one of a select few guides allowed to guide on that stretch of river.
The average sized Rainbow trout on the Upper Kenai is between 16-22 inches, with the average size on the Middle Kenai River being 18-24 inches.
Jason’s Guide Service provides a Fair Chase fishing experience and is on the water guiding 100 plus days a year. We have hot days and slow days depending on the fishery just like any other great body of water the Kenai river has its ups and downs for the bite.
We control the controllable’s and provide you the best of everything because we can’t control mother nature. Jason’s Guide Service targets rainbow trout with fly and spin fishing gear. Jason Lesmeister has mastered all the disciplines so that his Anglers can catch fish in all the conditions the river is in.
Our motto is the most the biggest the fastest, we don’t discriminate when it comes to gear, we love fishing it all.
One of the most popular fishing destinations in Alaska, the Kenai River deserves it’s reputation. Sockeye salmon, rainbow trout, dolly varden, silver salmon, and more are sought by anglers from all points on the globe. Navigating the Kenai River for a successful fishing trip is dictated by the expertise of the Kenai River guides.
Never rely on the experience of a novice when you can be guided on your Alaskan fishing adventures by the skillful and accomplished experts with years of experience on what can often be a complex fishery.
Fishing the Kenai river should be an enjoyable experience that results in the kind of fishing action a resource like the Kenai river is capable of producing. Choose to encounter the best fishing the Kenai river has to offer by taking a guided trip with Jason’s Guide Service.
Whether it’s Kenai River fly fishing or a using the latest spinning or casting gear you have options with Jason’s Guide Service.
Featured On National Geographic’s, ‘The Savage Line’
Lesmeister had the privilege of starring in ‘The Savage Line’ filmed and produced by National Geographic.
“‘The Savage Line’ examines the lives of experienced outdoorsmen, Cory Valdes, Jason Lesmeister, Rob Hardy, and Puma Ghostwalker, who traverse the world’s most remote places and work to protect the lives of men and women working in the backyard of nature’s fiercest predators. Their job takes them deep into the wild, demanding strong survival skills and a deep understanding of animal behavior. Utilizing non-lethal techniques, The Savage Line experts must brave both extreme weather and dangerous animal encounters to keep the peace between man and beast.” – National Geographic
4.9 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 starsposted 4 days ago
Jason is a great guide with many years of experience under his belt. He will defintiley show you a good time and knows where the fish are.
5 out of 5 starsposted 4 months ago
BEST fishing trip ever! We fished with an outfitter in Juneau and that went good too but Jason was hands down far better and we caught way more fish. He just seemd to care more and was teaching us so much. I'd have to say Jason is the best fishing guide on the Kenai bar none.
5 out of 5 starsposted 9 months ago
Better late than never! I had the luxury of Jason guiding me for a day of fly fishing. Fortunately for me, the other party was a no show, so I had the trip to myself. Oh, did I mention that I have never fly fished ever? Jason was EXTREMELY patient and within no time, I was catching fish. He is very knowledgeable, patient, and even if I hadn't caught a fish, it would have been money well spent. Seriously, if you get the chance, take a tour with him... you will not regret it.
5 out of 5 starsposted 7 months ago
Jason is truly Amazing!! He took my wife and I out for the trip of a Lifetime! Fishing was great and he was extremely helpful to my wife who was brand new to fly fishing. We felt well taken care of, safe, and prepared. We hope you enjoy your Idaho wine Jason! Cheers!
5 out of 5 starsposted 7 months ago
Jason’s tour was awesome; hands down I would recommend him if you are looking to do some salmon fishing while in Alaska - whether you are an experienced fisherman or not! We are definitely not experienced; we came to Cooper Landing with our 11 and 13 year old sons on our first trip to Alaska and thought it would be fun to try and catch some “wild caught sockeye salmon” since we love eating it at home. We told Jason we had no idea what we were doing and to give us a “city slicker” tour :) He was super friendly and accommodating - he had the waders and waterproof boots, top-notch equipment, a very nice and comfortable boat; and was very conscientious about keeping all of us safe and making sure we had an awesome time.
He obviously is a talented guide and fisherman, but was so helpful and willing to patiently teach us the basics that we needed to know to get the most out of our 4-hour tour. Out of pure luck (not skill) we caught a huge sockeye which we enjoyed for dinner tonight (amazing!!). He even gutted and filleted the fish for us right on the spot so we could take it back to our cabin ready to eat! But even if we wouldn’t have caught that fish it was a fantastic experience that I would highly recommend. Just the ride on Jason’s boat on the Kenai river was super enjoyable and beautiful; he knew everything about the area and pointed out so many fantastic elements of the wildlife and surrounding environment that really made us and our kids appreciate the entire experience.
A+++ - call Jason if you are looking for any kind of half day or full day Alaskan wilderness adventure; this guy has been doing this for 26 years and is an absolute PRO.